Coast RTA finalizing changes to Conway to Myrtle Beach route - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Coast RTA finalizing changes to Conway to Myrtle Beach route

Source: Katrina Helmer Source: Katrina Helmer
Source: Katrina Helmer Source: Katrina Helmer

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – The Coast RTA is hosting a public input meeting Monday at 4:00 p.m. to discuss permanent changes to Route 7.

The changes are being finalized for Route 7, which is the route from Conway to Myrtle Beach that runs along Highway 501. And for anyone who has ever attempted to drive 501, especially in rush hour or tourist season, it can be extremely aggravating and slow. So Coast RTA came up with some alignment changes to the route to avoid some of the congestion. Drivers have been testing this route change over the summer, and now the plan is to make it a permanent change.

“In the sincere hope to improve service and route efficiency and on-time performance, we looked at ways of utilizing frontage roads instead of running down the heart of 501, which has proven over the past couple of years to not be transit-friendly,” says Doug Herriott, the transportation manager for Coast RTA.

As a heads up, Herriott warns the new route will miss the Dick’s Pawn stop on 501. There are typically two to four passengers who get picked up at this spot each day. So if you get picked up here, Herriott says you'll need to cross 501 so you can catch the bus at the new stop by the Tanger Outlets.

If you’re curious what the new route looks like, you can click here. But leaders will also discuss the changes at Monday’s meeting. If you miss Monday’s meeting there will be two more before the route changes are made permanent, September 7.

4 PM Monday, July 27

Community Training Room (upstairs), Kroger Carolina Forest

The Plaza at Carolina Forest

3735 Renee Drive

Myrtle Beach

6 PM Thursday, July 30

First Floor Conference Room, City Hall, City of Myrtle Beach

937 Broadway Street

Myrtle Beach (across from the Ivory Wilson Transfer Station)

5 PM Thursday, August 6

Coast RTA Board Room

1418 Third Avenue

Conway

Coast RTA is also looking to make some changes that will keep you safe while you’re waiting for the bus. If you're used to flagging a bus down wherever you'd like on the route, you won't be able to do that much longer. The general manager for Coast RTA, Brian Piascik, says, unfortunately, the traditional way of flagging a bus down causes issues for Coast RTA when it comes to on-time performance.

If they don’t know where people are getting on, and they’re getting on at multiple unplanned places, it slows the bus down and they can’t meet their time schedules. So on top of making some changes to Route 7, Coast RTA leaders are establishing designated stops with actual bus stop signs. Many of these are going to be in the Carolina Forest area.

Piascik says switching from a flagging system to designated stops is not just for the sake of punctuality. “It also is a safety improvement,” says Piascik. “I saw some people get on the bus, which was in the left turn lane the other day. And we really want to avoid that. We don’t need people running in traffic trying to get on our buses.”

The signs will start going up over the next year. They have to be ordered first, and Coast RTA has to work with property owners and different communities to make sure it’s okay to use that property as a designated stop.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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